KBRH tackles mould in ICU, prior to airborne isolation room

The Trail hospital is ensuring it can safely manage a patient carrying an infectious disease with a new airborne isolation room.

The Trail hospital is ensuring it can safely manage a patient carrying an infectious disease with a new airborne isolation room planned for its Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

But before the addition is installed, the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) needs to take out some mould that was discovered in the ICU in October.

Water was leaking through some of the window fixtures then when facility staff took a closer look and located mould in the wall cavity, according to Jane Cusden, KBRH’s acute health service director.

“When the leak was found, there was very much activity and testing, and as I say, we did environmental testing immediately as soon as we found the issue and that’s continued,” she assured.

The $475,000 ICU Windows and Wall Replacement Project is focused on replacing exterior walls and windows to address issues with water leakage. Some mould was also found in the storage area adjacent to the ICU, which is closed off at this time and will also be taken care of.

The hospital continues to test the air for mould spores weekly while it prepares to move its ICU to another section of the hospital to ensure upcoming improvements are done swiftly without impact to its most critical patients.

“Any relocation is never ideal but we’ve engaged with a lot of the staff, and we need to address problems as they come up,” said Cusden. “We’ve identified a space within the hospital, where we can relocate the ICU patients, but we’re just working to get that finalized and working with facilities to make sure (the temporary location) has all the things that we need for ICU.”

Temporary relocation of ICU beds to the third floor will take place later this month or early in February with all renovations expected to be complete by late summer or early fall. The work will start with replacement of windows and walls, with the isolation room next on the to-do list, and further upgrades to potentially follow.

“We don’t have an airborne isolation room here at KBRH, and it’s really for infectious disease,” explained Cusden. “You know, with all the news recently around things such as Ebola, it’s really